The Federal Government has recognised that the country’s film industry has the potential to make Nigeria the entertainment capital of Africa, hence it has announced its commitment to reposition the Nigerian Film Corporation, NFC, for effective service delivery.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Monday while Inaugurating the Committee on the Commercialization of the NFC in Abuja.
He noted that the country’s film industry has the potential to make Nigeria the entertainment capital of Africa.
According to him the film industry drives entertainment and has brought fame to the country, hence the need to reposition the sector and provide the necessary enablement for the industry to thrive.
He decried the lack of critical infrastructure to drive the film industry in Nigeria, citing an example, he noted that Nigeria has only 142 cinema houses compared to South Africa with 782 cinemas, United States of America, 40,393, India, 11,209 and China with 50,976 cinemas.
He said, “What we are doing today is to simply reposition the NFC in a manner that will enable it to play the role statutorily assigned to it.
“I appeal to state governments to invest in the provision of infrastructure for the entertainment industry, in view of its huge potential to generate employment and contribute to the economy.
“It is important to appeal, especially to our state governments, to invest in infrastructure in the industry. I don’t think it will be too much for the state governments to ensure they build at least one cinema house in each local government area of their state.
“That will give us additional 774 cinema houses.
“At the moment, the NFC, which is expected to regulate and organise professional practice in the film industry, is facing numerous challenges, which include NFC’s inability to engage in commercial film production.
“The fact that the law establishing the Corporation limits its operational functions such that it cannot leverage on the private sector-led growth of the industry and also that NFC’s civil service structure comes with bureaucratic limitations, budgetary constraints and operational inefficiency among others.
“In order to address these challenges and reposition the NFC for improved performance, the Federal Government has engaged the services of a Business Development Consultant to conduct due diligence on the corporation and the sector and recommend a strategy that is suitable for its reform and commercialization.
“Dear members, your appointment into this committee comes with huge trust and belief in your ability and capacity to make thisreform happen.
“I therefore urge you to consider this a critical national assignment that requires unflinching commitment and zeal,” Mohammed added.
Members of the steering committee are, Information Minister Lai Mohammed as Chairman; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe; Director General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh; Managing Director, NFC, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, and Director, Industries and Communications, BPE, Abdullahi Dikko, as Secretary.